Following the arrest of William Rapfogel on charges that he allegedly stole funds from the Met Council, attention has shifted to his wife, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff, as well as the Rapfogel family’s Lower East Side apartment.
The Daily News reports:
The former head of a major New York City Jewish charity stole more than $1 million and stashed $400,000 in cash in his two New York homes — but his wife insists she knew nothing about it. Judy Rapfogel, wife of alleged thief William Rapfogel and the chief of staff to powerful state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, insisted to friends that she was blindsided by her husband’s actions. But a day after William Rapfogel turned himself in on charges of stealing from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty as part of a 20-year, $5 million kickback scheme, investigators and Albany insiders were focused on whether his politically connected wife had any knowledge of the scam. “It certainly is an interesting question,” said a source familiar with the probe… Sources familiar with the ongoing probe would not say whether the investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Controller Thomas DiNapoli would look at Judy Rapfogel or her powerful boss… Sources close to the case say Judy Rapfogel has not been questioned by investigators and has not hired her own lawyer. Paul Shechtman, William Rapfogel’s lawyer, said his client’s wife was in the dark. “Categorically, Judy and Sheldon Silver had no knowledge of any wrongdoing,” he said.
The story featured a photo of Rapfogel’s home at the East River Co-op, which has apparently been undergoing renovations since August. The article notes that authorities believe he “stuffed some of his ill-gotten gains in the bedroom closet of the couple’s lower East Side apartment.” The criminal complaint alleges that $27,000 in stolen funds was used to pay a contractor doing work this year in the “defendant’s home.” But the document does not specify whether the work mentioned was being done in the Grand Street apartment, or another property.
A reporter for the newspaper, Haaretz, spoke with Heshy Jacob, the chairman of the United Jewish Council of the East Side, which is affiliated with the Met Council. Jacob is also the longtime general manager of the East River and Hillman cooperatives. He told Haaretz that William Rapfogel was present at the Bialystoker Synagogue Monday, just as he has been most days for the past 40 years: